Philadelphia Personal Injury: FAQs

The following are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about personal injury lawyers and what they can do for you. The stated answers are general in nature. They do not apply to every personal injury situation.

Each personal injury case is unique and involves its own set of circumstances. By contacting the Philadelphia Personal Injury law firm of Heiligman & Mogul, P.C., you can schedule a free meeting about your specific legal claim.

Personal injury is any physical or mental injury caused by:

  • someone’s wrongful behavior, or
  • a defective product

Personal injury lawsuits are civil actions brought by private citizens. Injuries that may lead to legal action may occur from:

  • auto (car) accidents
  • dog bites or other dog attacks
  • dangerous and defective products
  • slip and fall accidents
  • other accidents on another’s premises (property)
  • nursing home abuse or neglect
  • medical malpractice
  • childbirth or prenatal care malpractice

If you sustained serious injury in Philadelphia or a surrounding county, you should consult with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your injury occurred. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, the applicable statute of limitations may bar you from filing a lawsuit and obtaining compensation, if you delay. Heiligman & Mogul, P.C.’s Philadelphia personal injury lawyers can advise you on the limitations statute applicable to your case. (You should also be careful not to sign any papers or give any official statements before consulting with an attorney.)

A person injured by someone’s wrongful act or a faulty product may be entitled to money damages for certain losses and expenses. Injured victims may be able to recover any or all of the following damages caused by their injuries:

  • medical bills
  • lost wages, including overtime
  • pain and suffering
  • physical and mental disability
  • disfigurement
  • emotional trauma

A wrongful death case is an action seeking compensation for losses caused to family members by a loved one’s death. A death is “wrongful” when caused by the:

  • negligent
  • willful, or
  • other wrongful act of another

Family members may be able to obtain damages for these financial injuries:

  • loss of support
  • loss of services
  • loss of inheritance prospects
  • medical and funeral expenses

In cases involving wrongful deaths caused by serious or malicious wrongdoing, the court may also award punitive damages. These are intended to:

  • punish the wrongdoer and / or
  • deter others from similar conduct

Philadelphia personal injury lawyers file wrongful death actions for deaths caused by:

  • medical malpractice
  • nursing home neglect or abuse
  • automobile, bus, train, airplane, or other vehicle accidents
  • occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances (such as asbestos)
  • negligently supervised sports, recreation, and other activities

The following family members may be able to file a wrongful death action in Pennsylvania:

  • surviving spouse
  • surviving children
  • surviving parents

The circumstances of your particular case will dictate which of your family members can file such an action. Your personal injury lawyer will explain this aspect of the law to you.

Negligence is the failure to take reasonable care for another person’s health and safety. To prove this neglect, the lawyer must produce certain evidence. This evidence must show that “it is more likely than not” that the defendant’s lack of reasonable care caused the plaintiff’s injury.

This level of proof is less demanding than the “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” required in criminal cases. Sometimes, lawyers file civil (personal injury) and criminal actions against the same party for the same injury. The different levels of proof for civil and criminal cases may lead to a defendant’s acquittal in the criminal case and the defendant’s liability in the civil case.

Liability means responsibility. A court may order a defendant who is liable (responsible) for someone’s personal injury or death to pay damages to the victim or the victim’s family.

Premises liability describes a property owner’s obligation to pay damages to a person injured on the owner’s property (premises). This liability may also extend to parties with a duty to maintain premises owned by someone else. Premises liability depends upon the visitor category into which an injured person falls. These categories include:

  • licensees
  • invitees, and
  • trespassers

Medical malpractice is negligent medical care by a health care professional that causes a patient’s injury or death. The law generally defines negligent medical care as care that does not meet the standard of care expected of health professionals in the same or similar area of practice as the defendant’s. All types of health care providers can be liable for medical malpractice that caused a patient’s injury or death. These include:

  • doctors
  • nurses
  • nurse practitioners
  • technicians
  • clinics
  • hospitals

Common instances of medical error that lead to liability in these cases include:

  • surgical errors
  • anesthesia errors
  • illness diagnosis errors
  • medication mistakes
  • treatment mistakes

A statute of limitations is a law that limits the time period during which a plaintiff may file a legal action. Each state has its own statutes of limitation. These laws may allow different time limits for different types of legal actions.

You must file many types of personal injury actions within two years of the date on which your injury occurred. If you do not file the action within this time period, the statute will “bar” or prevent your right to file legal action for that injury.

Contact Us

Our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers can help you obtain justice for your or a loved one’s injuries. Contact Heiligman & Mogul, P.C. to schedule a free meeting about your case.